Of bold moves and choices which can only help

This entry was posted by on Saturday, 23 October, 2004 at

I haven’t had much time to update this past week. Between work’s hectic schedule and some meetings scheduled for after work, and a going away party, I have been getting home fairly late and have been exhausted when I finally am able to sit down and decompress.

I’ll start with my last post on Wednesday morning. As I note in that post, Dave left us yesterday. Dave been one of the two driving forces trying to hire me on at my present company. The CEO, it turns out, was a bit hesitant due to my earring and long hair at the time. He soon got over that, but it took Dave and Joanne to push to bring me in.

Dave had been courted over the past 7 months, I have come to find out, by a large British oil company’s daughter company. This daughter company has over 100,000 employees and is based in Russia. Guess where Dave is flying to today….
Yup. He’s leaving for Moscow. Turns out the company had finally made him an offer which he couldn’t say no to:
A VP position in the company, a car and driver for the duration of his employment, a nice little signing bonus, and a yearly salary of $400,000.00
Yes, you read that right. How COULD he say no to an offer like that? In 2 years he’ll be able to semi retire.

But I digress. He is leaving, and he is one of the major reasons I have stayed. He was great to work with and for. He had my back when I needed it and I had his when he needed me. Unfortunately his departure had made my choice a bit easier.

So when I went in to talk with Owen, my previous company’s boss, I was leaning pretty heavy to going back there. And damn if that “interview” wasn’t fun! It was more of a formality, but I was able to speak with the whole team again, and was in an odd position because this time around, the interview was based on the difficulties they encounter on a daily basis and “why do you want to come back here” was the main question on everyone’s lips.

In talking with the team, I found I was falling right back into the comfort zone I had when I was there previously. When I left the office, I had nearly decided to go back as soon as I could, but I could not in good conscience simply cancel the interview I had the next day with Joanne, my current company’s previous boss. And I am glad I didn’t.

Thursday was a bit odd for me, as I realized I was on the verge of getting short timer’s disease. I was not performing at my usual level and found myself in a funk for most of the day. Nervousness, however, took the place of the funk once I was on my way to Joanne’s new office. I have no idea why I was so nervous. I don’t need the job, and already had nearly decided that I didn’t even really want it (new team, unknown industry, and unknown technology for me were a few of the major factors there).

In the interview, which was more formal than the day prior’s, I met with one of the main consultants there. He was a nice guy and asked me a few general questions trying to get a feel for my ability to interact with people, or so I assume. He laughed, because our resume formats were identical. I think that helped break the ice right off. Then he noticed that I have some writing skills and really perked up. He talked to me at length about their need for someone who can write and seemed surprised when I told him that not only CAN I write, but I WANT to. In fact, that is indeed my overall goal career-wise; to become a Technical Writer.

We ended the interview on a high note, and Joanne came back in to chat with me until her boss was available (on a length call regarding a support issue it sounded like). And this is where my choices got really difficult. It turns out that they have possibly two open requisitions for technical writer positions. One at a user documentation level involving more process oriented writing, the other at a more technical level involving documenting the applications at a level which would require close interaction with development.

I had a hard time from screaming “YES! I want THAT JOB!”. And truly either writing position would be a dream. I think my skill set currently is better suited to user level writing, however, a chance to work closely with development would only serve to increase my skill set.

When Joanne’s boss came by, he was a bit rushed and did a brief overview type question and answer deal. Then he found that I was interested in the tech writer gigs as well and he seemed pleased. His basic phrasing to me was something along the lines of: “Well then, I guess you just need to decide which job you want”. Over the course of speaking with him, it became obvious that he simply put a lot of trust in Joanne’s recommendation and would be happy to have me there in either a Business Systems Analyst II or Technical Write Role.

As I drove away, I made the choice: If I am offered on of the tech writer roles, I will take that at Joanne’s company. If I am only offered the BSA II role, I will have to really think about the opportunities which it will present me and how those would outweigh the job working for Owen. I called Owen and basically told him that I was in the same place as the day before when I had spoken with him, and that I simply did not know. I also indicated that a tech writer job may be open there and that is of course the path I want to go down. I reiterated, however, that I still wanted to progress with things and see what happens after next week when I should be interviewing with more people in Joanne’s company. Luckily Owen is out on business and won’t return until a week from this Monday, so that buys me some more time to follow this through.

Then I made it over to Dave’s going away party at the Gulf Stream (pics can be seen here). And things there got even more convoluted.

The party was fabulous and everyone really enjoyed themselves. Jim, the previous CEO/current investor/good friend of Dave’s was there as well. This is a man who at Joanne’s going away party was actively recruiting me in front of Dave. Jim is a dynamical personality who tells it like it is. And damn if you can’t respect him for that. So I took the opportunity to ask him about the direction of my current company. He indicated that selling is the top goal right now, but that John, the current CEO, thinks that if we don’t sell then we could still make a go of it as we are 2 months away from profitability. in speaking with Jim, he urged me to stick it out since I would have the most bargaining power before the sale and during the sale. Which is true, depending on the company that would be purchasing us and their intentions for the immediate future. But like I said, I respect Jim and damn if his words didn’t make it even more difficult for me.

So now I am back to debating whether or not to leave right now (or see how long I can drag things out until I get a better feel for my current place) and then which company to go to if I do decide to leave. One company is in the software development industry and their flagship product is a Code and Change Management application sold to other software developers. The other company is a fairly large Mortgage firm which seems to have its hand in damn near every aspect of the multifaceted Mortgage industry. The mortgage industry, of course, is currently doing quite well however it is also about as cyclical as the aerospace industry here. And that doesn’t give me the warm and fuzzies about stability that I really want. I just don’t want to be worried about my job when the economy dives or rates rise and slow down the business.

And that is pretty much where my brain is right now. I hate and fear change, even when it is good change. More importantly though, I fear making the wrong choice and looking back 10 years from now with regret. And that is a word I do not do well with.

2 Responses to “Of bold moves and choices which can only help”

  1. First of all, I want to congratulate you on your success. To be so valued and sought after by even one employer would be great….you’ve got three of them begging to have you. Not many people reach that level of respect at ANY point in their careers. That you have reached it at so young an age is an accomplishment you can truly be proud of. You’re in a tough position right now, but what a wonderful place for you to be!

    As far as making a “wrong” decision…..it doesn’t sound like you will be regardless of what you do. Each option takes you down a different road, but since all three have such definite advantages, how can any one of them be “wrong”? No matter what you decide, it doesn’t sound like you could make a mistake if you tried.

  2. thanks 🙂

    And so far as making a wrong decision, I think you are right. I should indeed re-phrase and say I am fearful of not making the best choice. Truly I can not go “wrong”, but there -are- still graduated levels of right.

    Beyond it all, it is the support I receive from friends like you that make my life so much easier. I don’t know what I’d do without you all.


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